Richard Thompson possesses a uniquely illustrious double reputation: Routinely mentioned in the same breath as Bob Dylan as a songwriter, he is also considered one of the greatest and most influential of rock guitarists. I can't offhand think of another artist who commands such respect as both songwriter and instrumentalist. The respect is largely deserved, but the immensity of it has often given Thompson a critical free pass when he turns out mediocre material, which is surprisingly often. A new live DVD and CD, recorded for "Austin City Limits," is alternately enthralling and tepid, as Thompson toggles between masterful, incendiary performance and hokey pieces of Celtic rockabilly -- his most unfortunate stylistic failing and just as goofy as it sounds. "Uninhabited Man," originally recorded for 1999's "Mock Tudor," is brilliant and moving, a dark and mysterious song with one of Thompson's strangest guitar parts.
Daily Download: "Uninhabited Man," Richard Thompson
An exclusive download of an exceptional live performance by the legendary Richard Thompson.
By Salon Staff
Published May 27, 2005 7:01AM (EDT)
Salon StaffMORE FROM Salon Staff